KARACHI - The government on Wednesday al­lowed air transportation of Covid-19 infected bodies so as to bring back to the country the bodies of Pakistanis who died of the coronavirus abroad.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the purpose.

The SOPs will come into immediate ef­fect with instructions for all airline opera­tors/authorized flight permission agents/charter operators/ground handlers to ful­ly adhere to the guidelines during trans­portation of bodies, according to a notifi­cation put out by the authority.

It said transportation of Covid-19 in­fected bodies from Pakistan to foreign destinations shall be governed by the policy of that country, while transporta­tion of bodies within Pakistan shall be governed by specific guidelines issued by the Ministry of National Health Services.

According to the guidelines, an airline will be required to inform the CAA about bringing any Covid-19 infected body to the country at least 48 hours prior to its arriv­al. The people who will handle the body will have to wear protective suits, face masks, gloves, face shields and goggles.

The airplane and the area where the body will be placed must have disin­fectants. The body must be wrapped in two sheets of clothes drenched in a specific chemical with a certificate is­sued by relevant morgue or country.